Friday, January 27, 2012

A culinary experience!

This probably doesn't come as news to you, but I love to cook!  The more challenging the recipe, the better!  I just had to share this experience with you, number one because it was a success and number two, I think everyone should try it!  I'm talking about making gnocchi from scratch.  If you don't even know what gnocchi is, they are little pillows of heaven that are made out of potatoes, eggs and flour.  A treat for you mouth!!  I was inspired from a recipe off of Pinterest...if you don't know what that is, well, that's a whole other post!  :)  Anyway, here is how it went down...

I found the gnocchi recipe here and used the step by step photos of how to do it.  I promise it is SO easy!!  You basically make a dough out of potatoes, flour and eggs, knead it together, roll into ropes and then slice them into little "pillows" as I call them.  They only cook for about 2 minutes in boiling water and then they float to the top!

And here are the little beauties!  Once they were finished cooking, I sautéed them with some spinach and pesto...YUM!  A perfect side dish to grilled salmon, grilled chicken or even pork!  Go ahead, try'll feel like a chef in no time!

Have I mentioned how much I love this cutie pie??  Just had to include this face on my post today!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Discovery Center fun!

This morning we met some friends and their boys at the Discovery Center to play!  Parker hasn't been since the disastrous dinosaur visit where he cried and wanted nothing to do with the dinos.  Enough time has gone by and I think he has no memory because when we arrived, he was super excited to play!  Parker was in luck, they had a sports exhibit going on where there were balls EVERYWHERE!  After two hours, I had to peel the child away and make him go home to eat lunch!  Needless to say, we had a great time!

 When we first walked in they had a "birds of prey" exhibit.  Parker thought this owl was pretty awesome!

 Building with the big blocks!

 Fun with shapes

 The mirror tunnel!  How many Parkers can you count?  :)

Parker's buddy, Clay, wasn't too sure about entering a tunnel where he could see himself all over the place!  :)

 This huge magnetic board lets kids move the connective pieces around to create an "obstacle course" for the balls to roll down.  He loved it!

 Sand dune display

 This was the best!  Inside this tunnel, there was a radar gun that clocked how fast you could pitch.  Parker stood here forever practicing his pitching!

 And of course he found the basket ball hoop!  Whether he is at home, at the gym, in the bathtub, he tells me..."mommy, Parker shoot hoops"!  The child has a NEED to shoot hoops on a daily basis! 

The was cool, a huge funnel to roll balls down.  Parker kept saying "go round and round".

Monday, January 16, 2012

A bit of randomness

So far, January has been a slow, get back in the routine of things, kind of month.  If you know me well, you know I do NOT like cold weather so I'm just hibernating until it turns warm again.  I crave warm weather and the outdoors, I need it!!  :)
Believe it or not, Amarillo has had some warm days recently but the wind blows like nobody's business so we can't get outdoors to enjoy it.  (think sky turning brown bad, I'm not just talking about a little breeze).  Oh well, no complaints, summer is coming right?!  We are finding plenty to do inside!  ;)

 Hiding in the tunnel at church!

 My big helper!

 Waco started smelling bad so it was time to give her a bath.  I despise giving her a bath indoors because it's just gross, but she sure enjoyed the warm water and the towel dry!  :)
( I think I spent the next 15 minutes after this bleaching the bathtub, ha!)

Handsome little stud
Thanks Aunt Lindsey for such a cute outfit!!

 Playing with one of his favorite toys from Christmas...he seems to have a "handy man" gene in him somewhere!

 Parker's favorite thing of all is helping daddy in the yard.  He got some yard tools for Christmas so now he can keep up!

My two cute yard men, love them!!
James is such a good landscaper and does a wonderful job with our yard, I'm thankful he's passing that onto Parker!  I always appreciate the way the front of our house looks, especially in the Spring/Summer.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My little chef!

I used to think that one day I'd need to have a girl to share my love of cooking with in the kitchen.  Not the case!  Parker LOVES helping me cook and I adore it!!  Whenever I'm in there he drops what he's doing, scoots his chair to the counter and says "mommy help".  Priceless.

Here's the little chef making brownies Friday afternoon!

 The boots were his idea and he refused to put his pants back on after nap.  Don't mess with a good chef or anyone who is 2 years old!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 in review

Like I say EVERY year when I do my look back, it went by way too fast!!  It's hard to believe it's time to enter another year, but we are so blessed by what God did in 2011 and look forward to His provision and blessings in 2012!  Happy New Year everyone!!

We started off last year with lots of cold weather and finding ways to stay entertained during the long winter days!  James worked on building a tall desk and had the most precious helper by his side!

We traveled up to Taos, NM and went skiing, got a visit from my parents and saw lots of snow!

With the temperature warming up a bit, Parker and I found ourselves outside a lot going on picnics!  P and I also made our annual Spring break trip to Dallas!

Oklahoma City and Dallas were our two destinations this month.  James's great-grandfather, Dr. O.M. Franklin was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame.  Then we went down to Dallas for Easter!

Our Parker James turned two on the 29th and we had two parties to celebrate!  One for his friends and one out at the ranch for the family!  Neesie and Grandad made the trip out to join in on the fun!!

The summer is our busiest time, but full of fun!  We drove up to Missouri for our annual Big Cedar trip and had tons of fun on the lake!  Then Ryan and his family along with mom and dad came out to the ranch for some serious fun!!

One of the highlights of the summer was getting together with my precious college roommates from Baylor!  We met up in Dallas for a girls weekend and had a blast!  At the end of the month, we all were at the ranch celebrating Sloan and Liesl's wedding!

I turned 31 and my sweet girlfriends helped me celebrate with a fun pool party!  We also ended the summer with one last shindig at the ranch with the whole fam!

After such a brutally hot summer, we gladly welcomed the Fall months!  We had our friends, Shane, Brie and Blair Brooks out to the ranch for Labor Day weekend, then we traveled up to Colorado for a weekend the Broadmoor!  The cooler weather was fantastic!!
Our little man also started Mother's Day Out for the first time!  

We had never been to the Arboretum during the fall, so on a weekend visit to Dallas, we went and had so much fun in "pumpkin land".  Mom and dad also came up to the ranch for their annual Fall trip out there.

Parker went to his first rodeo and then we enjoyed Thanksgiving out at the ranch!

We started off serving dinner for the annual "widow's dinner" that the Austin's do for the widows of the church.  It's one of my favorite December parties!  Then we celebrated Christmas in Dallas with my family!

 Happy New year and blessings in 2012!!